Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hazelnut Ramp Knödel

These are not my first visit to the ramp knödel rodeo. Last year I made Ramp Shallot Knödel. This time it was time to get nutty. 

I consider knödel both a comfort food and with a few twists of ingredients, like this version with ramps and hazelnuts, an unusual meal option to serve to guests. Knödel can be served by itself as the main dish with a side salad or as a side dish to the main meal. I also think it's a great brunch option. 

Toasting the hazelnuts in oil before adding them to the knödel mix intensified their mellow, sweet flavor. If you can't find ramps, you can substitute scallions and some garlic. 

I love the toasty nutty, onion, garlic flavor of this dish. This recipe makes quite a bit of knödel mixture but you can freeze half or a portion of the mixture for future use. Just wrap it in plastic cling film and place in a ziplock bag before placing in the freezer. 
Hazelnut Ramp Knödel
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 20 knödel
  • 10 medium sized day old rolls
  • 1+3/4 cups warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dozen ramps - or a small bunch
  • 1 medium sized sweet onion
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1+1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2- 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs (may or may not use these, see directions)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped raw hazelnuts

  • Cube the bread, place it in a bowl and pour the warm milk over it. 
  • Sprinkle the salt over the mixture.
  • Wash the ramps. Trim the bulbs and chop the rest into small pieces.
  • Dice the onion.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet and cook the ramps and onions until they are soft but not brown.
  • Sprinkle the baking soda over the top and let cool.
  • Add the ramp/onion mixture and the eggs to the soaked bread.
  • Mix everything together until thoroughly combined. 
  • Form a test knödel ball. If the mixture does not form and hold a ball shape, add the breadcrumbs to the mixture one tablespoon at a time until you can easily form ball shapes.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Wet your hands and form the mixture into small balls, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. The knödel will expand when it hits the hot water. 
  • Drop them into the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. 
  • Remove the knödel from the water and drain in a large colander or strainer. 
  • Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter along with the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Add the hazelnut pieces and roast them until they are slightly browned.
  • Add the knödel to the skillet and use a wooden spoon to gently coat them with the toasted nuts. You might have to do this step in two batches depending on how large your skillet is. 
  • When theködel turns slightly brown, remove from the heat, plate and serve.

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